As I write this I am sitting in a hotel room waiting for waters to recede so I can come back home. For many reasons, Dave and I along with Boh, our dog, left our home in coastal South Carolina to come to Baltimore in advance of Hurricane Florence. A few years ago during Hurricane Matthew I sheltered in place while the storm raged outside. This time, based on the information that the storm was a monster, we evacuated north. Now I can't get home. The picture above is of I-40, a road we sometimes travel home (notice the highway exit sign at the top center of the picture).
So while I am tired, want a home cooked meal, and am anxious about what we will find when we get home, we are making do. Based on what friends have said, the bookstore is safe (a few leaks) and opened on Monday and our house is not visibly damaged, no trees down and we have power. So now, if I could just get home. I feel like a little kid at summer camp...
But I really can't complain. I have friends who have again been evacuated because the area they live in is near a tributary of the Waccamaw River and waters are rising. I have friends who live in Wilmington who have tree branches resting in their house due to the small Category 1 storm, not exactly a fashionable decorating detail. Others of us can't get home because of the rising waters of the rivers we live near.
This storm didn't effect just us on the coast. Florence was felt well into the midlands of North and South Carolina. In North Carolina, Fayetteville and Lumberton have been impacted as well with rising rivers and significant flooding. In South Carolina counties as far away as Dorchester and Berkeley in the west have seen flooding. These are all areas which dealt with Hurricane Matthew a few years ago.
So what can you do? If you are in town, help your neighbors clean up. Take in their mail if they are away. Support your local merchants who have lost a lot of business. If you are out of town, consider contributing to The Palmetto South Carolina Region of The American Red Cross or to American Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina. If you contribute to the local/state offices you can be assured that your donation will be used in that region. Here is a good article from National Public Radio that includes other opportunities to help -https://www.npr.org/2018/09/18/649238096/how-to-help-those-affected-by-hurricane-florence.
Also consider visiting our lovely states once roads become passable again. October, November, and December are beautiful times to come to the beach and heaven knows we in the Carolinas will appreciate your business!